Sens. Paul, DeMint Say 'No' to McConnell’s Debt Plan -- It 'Takes Too Much Power Away From Congress'

By James Zilenziger | July 19, 2011 | 8:26pm EDT

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Two major conservatives in the Senate said Tuesday they would not support Senator Mitch McConnell’s plan to raise the debt ceiling.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), said during a telephone news conference sponsored by a group calling itself the Conservative Emergency Task Force (CETF), that he would not support the plan because it “takes too much power away from Congress.”

CNSNews.com submitted the following question to Sen. Rand Paul during a telephone news conference hosted): “Would you, under any circumstances, support Senator McConnell’s plan for raising the debt ceiling? Why or why not?”

The question was shortened to by the conference moderator to: “Senator Paul, will you support the McConnell Plan?”

Paul was firm in his opposition.

“No, I think that takes too much power away from Congress,” he replied. “Congress is supposed to have the purse strings. If we’re to borrow money, it should be approved by Congress.”

Paul added: “Right now that often requires 60 votes in the Senate, you know, if one person objects, that becomes a filibuster and they have to have 60 votes to raise the debt ceiling. We’ll be changing it from a threshold of 60 to a threshold of 34. I think that gives too much power to the presidency and is a mistake.”

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), meanwhile, was asked the same question at a Heritage Foundation event for bloggers. The conservative heavyweight had a simple response:

“Not as I understand it today, no.”

Under McConnell’s “Plan B” proposal, responsibility for raising the debt ceiling would be ceded to President Obama. But he and Democrats would also have to propose spending cuts, which Congress would vote on in three separate sets of votes.

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